It’s not a walk in the park

UbUbun­tut CCape TTown striker,tik CCameron ChCh­weu, opens up tto Soc­cerS LLad­uma’sd’ PPetert RRaath aboutt ththe club’s l b’ strug­gles. He also dis­cusses his am­a­teur ca­reer, team­mates and the NFD.

Soccer Laduma - - Team of the Week -

Peter Raath: Please tell us why you used the words “I’m a flower that grows from con­crete” - writ­ten by the late Amer­i­can rap­per and ac­tor, Tu­pac Shakur - to de­scribe your­self?

Cameron Ch­weu: It’s very rare for a flower to grow on hard con­crete. But if a seed does man­age to ger­mi­nate, then only in very dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances would it sur­vive. Grow­ing up, I never played at any acad­e­mies nor did I get an op­por­tu­nity to show­case my tal­ent. That made it much harder for me to break into the pro­fes­sional set-up at an ear­lier age. Prior to rep­re­sent­ing Bubchu United FC and North West Univer­sity in the ABC Mot­sepe League, I had only played Sun­day League foot­ball. I had to con­stantly com­pete in or­der to prove to my­self and oth­ers that one day I’d also make it. So the flower/con­crete ref­er­ence de­scribes my life be­cause, de­spite all the dif­fi­cul­ties, I man- aged to score 10 goals in the Var­sity Cup and 17 in the ABC Mot­sepe League. I also played the full 90 min­utes for the 2016 Ned­bank Ke Yona team that lost 1- 0 to Su­perS­port United. I feel very priv­i­leged to have worked with Ned­bank’s top coaches, Shakes Mashaba and Owen da Gama, who were still in the Bafana Bafana set-up back then. I learnt a lot from them as well as the other coaches. All this played a part in the type of player that I am now. My other achieve­ment is an hon­ours de­gree, while I’m cur­rently do­ing my mas­ters.

PR: You’ve ex­pe­ri­enced a tough few months as a pro, hav­ing been re­leased by Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila FC without kick­ing a ball, be­fore be­ing on the wrong side of a 3-0 ham­mer­ing by Mac­cabi FC in only your sec­ond match for strug­gling Ubuntu Cape Town.

CC: God’s tim­ing is al­ways per- fect. TTM de­cided to let me go af­ter I’d re­ported for pre-sea­son. I was un­der the im­pres­sion that the deal had been done, but ap­par­ently, they wanted ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers. So they de­cided to cut ties and let me look for an­other team, which meant I didn’t go to the Univer­sity Sports South Africa Games. It was ex­cit­ing to fi­nally play as a pro­fes­sional; how­ever, at the same time, I ex­pe­ri­enced bit­ter dis­ap­point­ment as we lost 1-0 to Richards Bay. The Mac­cabi match was one of two dif­fer­ent halves. At 2-0 down, our team piled on the pres­sure and gave ev­ery­thing we could by push­ing num­bers for­ward, which left us ex­posed for the third goal. Play­ing the vast ma­jor­ity of our games away has been part of the prob­lem, es­pe­cially be­cause that in­cluded three trips to Mpumalanga. It was dif­fi­cult to adapt to that en­vi­ron­ment due to the heat. We found our­selves strug­gling un­der for­mer head coach, Casey Prince. But the good thing is that he’s a very re­li­gious man, who tried to keep us pos­i­tive and wanted to get the best out of us. We also have a re­li­gious tech­ni­cal team.

PR: With your knowl­edge of the Var­sity Cup, how would you de­scribe the NFD?

CC: The NFD is not a walk in the park. The pace is very fast, tac­ti­cally ad­vanced and un­pre­dictable. It’s a league where play­ers have to com­pete to the fullest in each game. Most of our squad is made up of young­sters who are still try­ing to find their feet and the right com­bi­na­tion. Asanda Dyani, 19, formerly with Kaizer Chiefs MDC team, has been do­ing well reg­u­larly start­ing on the left wing, although he can also play on the right. Our Zim­bab­wean striker, Ku­dak­washe Mangami, might be the same age, but he’s a strong, hun­gry type of player. It’s very hard to take the ball away from him and, in the near fu­ture, I can see him scor­ing some goals. Azeemud-Deen Bren­ner, a left back, is a hard­work­ing young lad, who tries to im­prove ev­ery sin­gle day and isn’t a per­son to make a mis­take. He’s a down-to- earth hum­ble guy Ubuntu’s academy. With very ex­pe­ri­enced op­po­si­tion like Ajax Cape Town and Jomo Cos­mos, as well as these clubs’ coaches, it is tough in the NFD. But, hav­ing said that, dur­ing our goal­less draw against Ajax, we dom­i­nated most parts of the game and could have won. You can see that the play­ers are re­ally fight­ing. In the sec­ond round, there are lots of home matches, so hope­fully Ubuntu will get those points. We will turn the cor­ner soon.

PR: But de­spite hir­ing a new coach, Vladislav Heric, your team suf­fered its sev­enth loss af­ter go­ing down 2-0 to Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria.

CC: That was ob­vi­ously sup­posed to be a must-win game for us as we want to re­main in the league and nar­row the points dif­fer­ence be­tween Ubuntu and the clos­est clubs. But it didn’t hap­pen. Due to all the losses, the guys are do­ing ex­tra train­ing. PR: Thanks, Cameron. CC: No prob­lem, Peter. ❐

CAMERON CH­WEU

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